Bodega workers lash out against crime after violent Brooklyn attack

Members of United Bodegas of America are speaking out after a weekend assault in which two workers were stabbed, and a third assaulted in Brooklyn.

The U.B.A. says that on Sunday evening, at around 5:30 p.m., surveillance video captures a man inside Pedregal Grocery in Flatbush, refusing to pay the price of his items.

The man is seen throwing what appears to be cans at the workers behind the counter, at which point one of the owners’ brothers grabbed a bat and threw the man out.

That's when things escalated further.


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"His brother took him out of the store and the guy already had the knife on hand. And that's when the activity happened," U.B.A spokesman Fernando Mateo said. "During the push out is when the stabbing when he when they were outside."

Mateo says 46-year-old Bodega owner Pedro Ramirez was stabbed in the chest and arm and underwent surgery. His brother, 60-year-old Marcial, was stabbed in the hand and was repeatedly hit by the bat. He, too, will need surgery.

Surveillance cams also show the suspect using the bat to shatter the store's door.  When it broke, flying glass hit Jose Ramirez in the face.

United Bodegas of America says that after the attack the suspect, who is believed to live in or frequent the area, took off before police arrived on the scene.

The U.B.A. is offering a $3,000 dollar reward to anyone who turns him in to the NYPD. They add that bodegas are being overwhelmed with theft and looting, which has seen many instances of owners fighting back, though at great risk of possibly being prosecuted themselves.


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Mateo says they are telling the owners NOT to fight back.  

"It's not worth your life, and it's not worth you being prosecuted for defending your property," Mateo said. "Until we can get the laws right, until the district attorneys and the judges do the right thing. We are asking bodega owners to stand down."